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The Strangest Dictator
By mlq3 Posted in Quezoniana on October 14, 2007 11 Comments 1 min read
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The Strangest Dictator, by Fritz Marquardt, 1942


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  1. I love MLQ1, because he is a freedom loving and a President that died for his country’s cause.
    But… an MLQ1 and LKY comparison? Nada-nada.

    I’d like to see an FM and LKY comparison instead. Both are dictators, LKY is not a dictator actually but the party he established is the one dominating Singapore in power since 1959 (at least its corruption free, not unlike here…) though he is good natured all the way and he being in power is legit coz they’re Parliamentary (I hope we become parliamentary as soon as possible, but not right now, there are other issues need to be resolved like population control, education, poverty alleviation and the like). Although, FOS in that country..is a bit quasi though… ehehe…

    anyway, thanks for the article mlq3. =D

  2. For me, what MLQ1 and LKY have in common are:
    1. Tremendously strong political will
    2. Uncanny foresight.
    3. Fearless, but righteous decisiveness.

  3. I don’t don’t get it…MLQ a dictator?

    How can he be a dictator of an American commonwealth member nation?

    The U.S. state department and FDR could override any decree that Quezon might aribtrarily “dictate” to the Filipino people.

    A real dictator’s power is supreme over his nation, responsible only to God and History. Figures like Hilter, Mussolini, Franco, Kemal Attaturk and Napoleon may be considered dictators.

    So does this mean MLQ was a mere “puppet” for the U.S.?

    We can’t say that because after all, the Philippines was still officially U.S. territory. Even President Quezon was technically still a “U.S. national”.

    Marcos is a prime example of a “U.S. puppet”. He was already president of a supposedly independent Philippines. Marcos would be something like Fidel Castro who was nothing but a stooge for the now defunct Soviet Union. Their politcal authority and economic viability rested mainly upon the military and economic aid provided them by the superpowers.

    The better their regimes performed as satellite states, the more aid they got. That is why they could never really have delivered on promises of meaningful socio-ecomomic progress because they didn’t really have to develop the economic potentials of the country to stay in power.

    But people like Franco, Lee Kuan Yew etc. could claim success because they were leaders of authoritarian movements which were not subservient to foreign interests, nor were ideologically enslaved by Marxist ethos in their approach to market capitalism. They succeeded in setting up vertical trade unions in establishing their respective “corporative states”.

  4. bonifasci, administratively, the dept. of state had no say over the commonwealth, the relevant us govt dept. was dept of the interior. and the ability of the us to interfere in phil. laws was limited. in general, foreign affairs and currency/trade were the spheres reserved to the usa. everything else was in philippine hands except for the provision that constitutional amendments required us approval (obviously to protect american interests as spelled out in the transitory provisions of the 1935 constitution). even economic affairs, however, were subject to negotiations, which took place in 1938 and established the extension of free trade and phil. tariff privileges twenty years after independence.

    but even in foreign affairs, for example, the first forays into foreign diplomacy was undertaken by mlq with his trips to mexico and japan in 1937.

  5. bonifasci,

    The “dictator” title was more of a misconception of some americans. The essay had an element of “irony” in it.

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